Ontario’s Government for the People is making life easier for small municipalities by sending expert infrastructure planning help, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker announced today.
“This assistance will help Northern Bruce Peninsula, Southgate and other rural and northern communities map out the future,” said MPP Walker. “We know that infrastructure spending benefits families and businesses. We have to ensure funds are spent in the right place, at the right time and on the right project.”
In parts of Ontario, infrastructure is deteriorating a rate faster than it can be repaired or replaced.
Municipalities are now required to develop asset management plans, which will help guide decisions on infrastructure spending. All 444 municipalities in Ontario are required to develop and adopt a strategic asset management policy by July 1, 2019. Requirements for each municipality to complete compliant asset management plans are being phased in by July 1, 2024.
At the same time, the government is working to reduce a projected $14.5 billion deficit.
“Infrastructure spending has real benefits for the people of Ontario,” said Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton. “But in our current environment, spending decisions must be targeted, sustainable and focused on the long-term.”
Today’s announcement means Northern Bruce Peninsula and Southgate will benefit from expert, in-person assistance in developing its asset management plan. The program is being delivered by the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario in partnership with the Province.
The provincial government recognizes that developing asset management plans is challenging work, especially for small municipalities with limited staff and resources. This work is critical to sustaining necessary services, such as roads, bridges and clean drinking water.
“Our Government for the People has heard from small municipalities,” said MPP Walker. “Help is needed to improve asset management planning. We’re responding by sending specialized assistance.”
Ontario has earmarked about $2.1 million over three years to help approximately 250 small municipalities to develop and improve their asset management planning. The initiative is being delivered in three phases by the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association (MFOA) in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Through another partnership with MFOA, the Ministry of Infrastructure has supported development of a toolkit to help municipalities with their strategic asset management policy, a precursor to an asset management plan.